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 Attaching small, permanent metal rings to the legs of birds allows us to answer all kinds of questions about their biology. In particular, ringing studies allow us to find out about the dispersal and migration of birds and also information on their survival and longevity. In the UK, bird ringing is licenced and administered by the British Trust for Ornithology and more information on ringing can be found on their website (
SCAN Ringing Group have been ringing seabirds on Puffin Island since 1982 and have amassed a wealth of data. Ringing studies focus on shags, cormorants, guillemots, razorbills and particularly kittiwakes, which are the focus of a 'retrapping adults for survival' (RAS) scheme. 
As an example, the interactive maps below show data on razorbills. The picture on the right shows a razorbill chick about to get a ring. The first map shows the locations of birds which have been ringed on Puffin Island and recaptured dead or alive elsewhere ('recoveries' in ringing terminology). The second map shows the locations of birds which have been ringed elsewhere and recaptured or found on Puffin Island ('controls').
On both maps, the red pin marks the location of Puffin Island, blue symbols are birds initially caught and ringed as adults and green symbols are razorbills initially caught and ringed as chicks. Click on a symbol to find out more about the bird such as when it was ringed and when it was found.

Razorbill Recoveries


Razorbill Controls